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Archive for the ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Category

On a personal note, this is a very difficult topic for me. Not because of the whole “oh, it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m single, everyone has love but me” (said in whiny Ricky Gervais voice) nonsense but because when I was twelve I had a little whiteboard and one day I spent hours devising lists upon lists of my very favorite TV couples. For real. Thank god blogs didn’t exist when I was a pre-teen or I would’ve had to name it “SHAME.”

5. Happy Days (1974 – 1984) Joanie and Chachi

The Soap Opera Effect

This is a legit thing. It’s practically scientific. The reason why your grandmother is obsessed with Days of Our Lives, Young & The Restless, General Hospital etc? Sure, there’s sex and drama and corny moments galore. But there’s also a very real, very visceral reaction to watching someone for years and years, especially when that someone started out as a child. You invest in that person without realizing it, you watch and watch and one day you realize they’ve grown up, right before your eyes. It makes you somewhat emotional, dammit, when they celebrate their Sweet Sixteen, learn to drive, get their hearts broken for the first time, graduate high school… and especially when they, in this case  Joanie “Shortcake” Cunningham, fall in love with the once goofy, gawky cousin of the super cool guy who lives above your parents’ garage. This video proves it. We love Joanie with Chachi mostly because we love Joanie AND Chachi. We watched them grow up, get together, break up, make up, get married. We saw it all, over the course of the show’s ten year run. (Also, it’s Scott Baio for God’s sake. That guy is ’70s, ’80s magic. That part’s not exactly rocket science.)

4. Dawson’s Creek (1998 – 2003) Pacey and Joey

The Perfect Triangle

I just actually watched those clips and want to die a little. What were they thinking when they wrote this show’s dialogue? Why is Pacey calling Joey a “woman”? She is SIXTEEN. I don’t even call myself a woman now, for God’s sake. Anyway. Step aside from Dawson’s obvious shortcomings and focus on the show’s biggest surprise. Clearly, Dawson Leery was supposed to end up with little Joey Potter (tomboy, a modern day Jo March, literally the girl-next-door). The first season literally threw Joey at his feet as she climbed through the window of his room, after a year of angst that only a bunch of 15 year olds can muster. So then what happens? Dawson’s best friend falls in love with her too. And when that best friend (you can hear the call PACEY! over the blogosphere whenever Joshua Jackson makes an appearance in real life) is pretty much the Lloyd Dobbler of Capeside? Poor Cerealbox Head doesn’t stand a chance. 

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003) Buffy and Angel

The Beauty and the Beast

Well, so of COURSE the love of vampire slayer Buffy Summers’ life is a vampire. Of COURSE it is. Years before teenaged girls got sucked into the Twilight rabbit hole, before HBO had even heard of True Blood, sixteen-year-old Buffy developed the hots (it’s a ’90s expression, it works, leave me alone) for a 300 year old vampire with a soul. The show, in its smartest years, used Buffy and Angel’s relationship as a metaphor for the overpowering effect of first love (in maybe the most powerful example, Buffy decides to sleep with her boyfriend, for the first time, on her birthday, not knowing that the Gypsy curse of Angel’s human soul would be removed the moment he experienced a glimpse of pure happiness. So, yeah. Buffy wakes up the next day, all happy and in love… and her boyfriend has turned into a total monster. And you thought only Mormons could provide a subtle hint about the trouble sex can bring. Silly rabbit.)

2. The Office ( 2001 – 2003 / 2005 – Present) Tim and Dawn / Jim and Pam

The Kindred Spirits

Before there was Jim and Pam, there was Tim and Dawn. The settings may be slightly different but the stories started out the same- everyman Tim/Jim fall for their best office-mate, receptionist Dawn/Pam. Trouble is, she’s engaged to someone else. The beauty of how The Office plays what could’ve been a typical office romance is the dynamic between the two couples. Tim (it’s easier to stick with the first and greatest) is the Voice of Reason in this mad, mad world. He’s the one rolling his eyes along with us and wondering if everyone’s taken their crazy pills. S0, naturally he’s drawn toward pretty Dawn. She gets it. She knows everyone’s crazy. They speak the same language and in a world where you often feel like the last sane person on earth, this is crucial. It’s a lifeline. It doesn’t hurt when both of you are cute, funny, snarky and you let us all in on the joke. Of COURSE we’re rooting for you.

(Warning: this video will kill you)

(And the happy ending we needed)

1. The Cosby Show (1984 – 1992) Clair and Cliff Huxtable

The Perfect Couple

The following clip is ABSURD. Someone for Cliff Huxtable other than Clair? Please. TV has never gotten a pair more right than Brooklyn’s favorite Doctor/Lawyer duo. They’re smart, they’re playful, they fit each other like a forbidden hoagie with a bag of potato chips. There was no other way for The Cosby Show to end its eight year run than for Cliff and Clair to dance their way out of the studio. No other way.

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I’m not going to lie, you guys. I am REALLY excited about today’s list.

I love the “You’re NOT my father!” moment of pretty much anything. One of our most gloriously over-used cliches in both TV and film, it’s pretty self-explanatory. A well-meaning authority figure tries to instill a little wisdom or caring and the uncaring brat responds with that most below-the-belt of blows- “You are not my biological parent.” It’s best when used in a sitcom so there’s a proper storm-out or run up the stairs (A Full House specialty, the run up the stairs) and the studio audience can go, “Ooooooooooh.” I highly encourage you to say, “Oooooh” at the end of each entry, it really does make a world of difference.

5. Shawn Hunter to Mr. Turner in “Cult Fiction” on Boy Meets World (1997)

Ah yes, the classic “Cult Fiction” episode. Occasionally, a series will whip out the old “main character joins a cult” situation (Kelly on 90210, Tori Spelling and that religion that’s supposed to be Scientology on So Notorious, Veronica Mars tries to live on that farm in that one episode) and who doesn’t love TV’s squishy take on what a cult is really like (namely, there is so much hugging involved that this can’t be kosher). When it comes to Boy Meets World, poor (ha ha ha, SHAWN’S POOR!) Shawn Hunter has been having a hard time of it lately- his trailer trash lifestyle has become even more trailer-tastic after his dad takes off after his wayward mom and leaves Shawn in the care of first the Matthews (who clearly don’t know what to do with someone who wears so much flannel and doesn’t appreciate clean cut wisecracks from a little sis) and then oh-so-cool teacher Mr. Turner, not at all sketchy for a single man with a Jheri-curl to take in a teenage boy. When Shawn takes up with the Huggers, Mr. Turner steps in and obviously Shawn’s not going to listen to someone who is NOT HIS FATHER. Don’t you ever watch television, Mr. Turner? God.

4. Jessie Spano to her New Stepmom in “Palm Springs Weekend I & II” on Saved By the Bell (1991)

Some woman at the hotel where the SBTB Palm Springs episode was filmed. I love the internet.

Some woman at the hotel where the SBTB Palm Springs episode was filmed. I love the internet.

This is the Saved By the Bell episode where you muttered to yourself, “I think there’s something wrong with Jessie Spano.” She REALLY hates her new stepmom to-be. Like, tries to drown her in the Palm Springs pool hates-her (not ok, Mama). Although, if I were forced to wear that heinous bridesmaid dress, I might also consider making snide remarks about my dad’s fiance’s youth and inappropriate hotness to everyone too. I mean, she’s a aerobics instructor for God’s sake. I think we all know why this wedding is taking place.

But don’t worry. Zack Morris, next door neighbor, best friend, always there with a snappy blazer, is there for some friendly advice. Namely, suck it up and get back to the wedding, in the name of all that is holy so we can end this episode and move on to California Dreams where I think Jake and Tiffani are about to hook up in the gang’s garage thisisthebestSaturdaymorningever!

3.Tracy Morgan to Everyone Who Tries to Tell Him What To Do in “Rosemary’s Baby” on 30 Rock (2007)

You have no idea how much I wish there was a clip of this scene. Basically, Tracy has an issue- whenever an authority figure (Jack, in this case) tells him not to do something, he has to do it. Even dog-fighting, the most repulsive thing a person could do (which Grizz and Dot-Com hilariously try to circumvent by recruiting poodles). When Jack tries to talk some sense into Tracy, he retorts, “You’re not my dad!” And prompts a series of flashbacks when Tracy was a little boy, played by Elijah Cook who is SPOT-ON with an attitudinal delivery that just kills me every time. It goes something like this:

“Tracy, don’t play with matches!”

“You’re not my dad!”

“Tracy, don’t stare directly at the sun! It’ll make you crazy!”

“You’re not my dad!”

And my favorite- little Tracy’s dressed for church in a red dress and matching hat. “Tracy! You’re not going out dressed like that!”

“You’re not my dad!”

AAAAAND scene. Seriously, Hulu, I can’t believe you want to charge me and yet you don’t even have that clip. Pathetic.

2. Buffy Summers to Ted (John Ritter) in “Ted” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

In one of Buffy‘s greatest episodes ever, John Ritter plays Ted, new boyfriend to Buffy’s mother, poor suffering Joyce. Everything seems dandy except Buffy thinks he’s a giant creep. Nobody else does though, since Ted’s making these cookies with dreamy tranquilizers in them, that make everyone just love the guy. We see flashes of the real Ted though, when he tries to smack Buffy around and it’s all the more creepy and awful because nobody sees it or is really on her side. So when she has enough and roundhouse kicks him down the stairs, it’s a short-lived rush of satisfaction. See, Buffy actually kills Ted and the ramifications of her killing a person, not a demon or a vampire, are pretty heady. (Not to mention the most dramatic “You’re not my father!” overreaction ever).

Luckily for all of us, he’s actually a sociopathic robot who comes back to life to try and recruit Joyce into living with him in his creepy basement of love. Which means we get to see Buffy’s fears validated. And she gets to kill him again, always a bonus.

1. Will Smith to Uncle Phil in “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse” on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (1994)

This picture is unrelated. It just makes me laugh.

Welcome to the part of the program where I tear up uncontrollably. I’ve mentioned previously my inability to watch this episode of what has to be one of the most ridiculous sitcoms of all time without getting choked up and making excuses like, “I’m sorry, there’s a ceiling tile in the bathroom that needs my attention” so that my friends don’t mock me when Will blows up at Uncle Phil for not exactly being psyched that his deadbeat dad Lou (Ben Vereen NO!) has shown up to make yet more false promises. And then when Lou makes an excuse about bailing on him AGAIN and Will breaks down I just, I can’t- I’m sorry, there’s a ceiling tile in the bathroom that needs my attention right now. (PS originally my choice for this week’s topic was “Very Special Episodes on Sitcoms That Actually Really Did Make Me Cry Don’t Judge Me” so you see we’re killing two birds here.)

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by Judi

5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer– “Halloween” (1997)

Buffy-Halloween_l

I mean, it’s a no-brainer that if you have a show about vampires and werewolves and witches, Halloween would be a pretty big deal. And Season 2’s “Halloween” is especially fun, if only for the premise of “what if you actually turned into your costume?” In Buffy & Co.’s case, it’s the work of creepy Ethan, a dangerous ex-friend of Giles’ from his days when he was known as “Ripper”, who sells the kids enchanted costumes. Buffy, in an effort to be more like her vampire boyfriend’s old girlfriends from the eighteenth century, turns into a pansy-assed noblewoman who’s swooning at every turn. Willow at first dresses slutty (check out those abs!) and then gets nervous and throws a sheet over her head, which of course turns her into an actual ghost. Xander’s a tough-as-nails military guy. It’d be fine if Spike didn’t choose that moment to attack. Oh, and all the little monsters in the neighborhood? They’re all actually little monsters now. Demon want some candy?

4. Bones-“The Mummy in The Maze” (2007)

bones halloween 2

Dr. Brennan, for all her social awkwardness, LOVES Halloween. It’s not terribly surprising considering the morbid nature of her work but she really, really gets into it as does the rest of the Squints (which is, incidentally, FBI agent Boothe’s costume as a giant note-taking nerd. Just perfect for his captain-of-the-football-team image). Angela’s dressed full-out as Cher at the Oscars, Cam’s a hot Catwoman and Brennan’s Wonder Woman. And the case is a mummified body found in a giant hay-maze. The episode’s got creepy goths, RIDER STRONG as a maybe-pedophile, and a murderer who likes to kidnap young girls and, literally, scare them to death (he sticks one girl in a vault with a bunch of snakes). By the end, Boothe and Brennan are roughed up, filthy and tired from wrestling with a creep dressed up like a clown. You know, just like real superheros. (By the way, if you’re looking for something to watch that’s genuinely disturbing but not Halloween-centered, that episode where she wakes up bloodied and bruised after blacking out in New Orleans is SO GOOD. It’s got voo-doo and men who like to have sex near dead bodies and it’s the goriest Bones episode ever- and this is a show where a body once melted in a pool of lye).

3. 30 Rock– “Stone Mountain” (2009)

That’s right- LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE made my list. 30 Rock, off to a great start after a shakier 3rd season (too many guest stars, not enough writers room), hits so many great points about Halloween that I had to rewind my TiVo twice because of the happy clapping (I tend to watch TV like I’m Simple Jack. Is that offensive? Maybe now getting my profile rejected from Match.com isn’t such a surprise). From the discussion of the merits of a gay Halloween to the reappearance of Jenna’s gay-entourage (“Girl, your face called- it says it’s time to PICK IT UP.”) to a special appearance by Betty White! (who’s reading “From Peanut to President” by Milton Greene, love) to Jack and Liz’s visit to Kenneth’s town of “Small Mountain” (you really couldn’t bring him along? He probably hadn’t been home in years), I don’t even care that the whole episode wasn’t Halloween-crazy. I got my fair share of Lutz and, for that, I am appeased.

Watch episode here.

2. Beverly Hills 90210– “Halloween” (1991)

Oooh, a classic. Brenda and Dylan are Bonnie & Clyde, Donna’s a too-realistic mermaid who can’t move, Brandon and Emily Valentine (yay) take her niece and nephew trick-or-treating but then lose them, oops. Luckily, Mr. and Mrs. Walsh save the day. And the highlight- though it’s only Season 2, this is the SECOND time Kelly is sexually assaulted (the first one happened off camera, as recounted in the slumber party episode) and sweet sassy molassy, it will not be the last for poor, calamity-stricken Kelly Taylor. But don’t worry- Steve, dressed as Zorro, saves the day. Also, does that cowboy look like Christ Kattan to anyone else? Now I’m even more disturbed.

1. The Simpsons– “Treehouse of Horror I” (1990)

The Simpsons’ famed Treehouse of Horror series is so beloved by its fans that if either Beal or I left an episode off the list, we might be egged by one of our thirteen regular readers (what’s up, guys?). “Treehouse of Horror VI” was so good, in fact, that it was even nominated for an Emmy in 1996 for “Outstanding Animated Program” but it, sadly, lost to that timeless classic Pinky and the Brain, though I don’t recall any ground-breaking, 3-D animation happening on THAT episode. Whatever, ACADEMY.

But for this list, we’re going waaaay back to 1990 for “Treehouse of Horror I,” before they even knew they would have to start numbering them. As Treehouse of Horrors follows no continuity or other realism rules for the show, anything goes, which means we don’t see Bart & Co. traipsing around in costumes but we do get thirty minutes of genuine Halloween mayhem- gorings, murder, rabid bats, killer idols, tributes to The Shining (see clip). It’s the spirit of Halloween at its best, ignoring the cries for candy from greedy fat kids and “Should I be a slutty pirate or a slutty fairy? OOH, CAT. Slutty cat it is!” from every female over the age of sixteen. In this episode, the first act finds the family Simpsons moving into a house that would’ve made the Amityville Horror weep. Marge confronts the bleeding walls and flying objects and tells the house to behave. The house collapses in on itself- it’d rather die than live with Homer and his brood. In the second act, they’re abducted by aliens and what ensues is one of my favorite gags ever- the “How to Cook (For) (Forty) Humans” misunderstanding. And then, the third act is a retelling of Poe’s “The Raven.” Pretty classy, right?

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by Judi

Ok, fine. FINE. I admit it. I LOVE musicals. Are you happy? Are you satisfied? I am one of those people who “totally gets” what’s so great about people who spontaneously burst into song and tap-dance in the street in big, choreographed numbers. I think the fact that the musical is now a relic of better times (and High School Musical does not count, sorry. Call me when those kids challenge The Jets) is a travesty and must be remedied. But I digress. This platform is not the place for movie musicals. It’s a place of television MAGIC.

Occasionally though, these two worlds collide in outrageously entertaining fashion. Some are lavish, all-episode affairs (see #1) and some are, well, ridiculous. Some shows did it a little too much (I’m looking at you, McBeal.) And some shows not at all, sadly. More often than not, it’s just an excuse for an actor to showcase his-or-her vocal skills. Whatever the reason, bring it on!

5. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air- Ashley sings “Respect” to Uncle Phil (who is clearly not respecting her)

Tatiana Ali is no stranger to vocal exercises, having been on Star Search singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” when she was a precious little thing. So it was inevitable that Fresh Prince would make her sing at some point. But, oh, using a karaoke moment to perfectly illustrate her point? That’s just sitcom gold, people. GOLD.

That’s right. It’s in German. This is how I’m watching Fresh Prince clips from now on. Hilarious.

4. Bones– Brennan sings “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” until Booth gets shot, ruining her solo

We all know Zooey Deschanel can sing but who knew sister Emily can bring it too? In the second-to-last episode of Season 3, Booth and Brennan track down a dude who murdered a karaoke singer and Booth ends up adopting the singer’s stalker (whoops). Since the victim was a singer, it’s only natural that the pair would end up discussing the benefits of karaoke, leading Brennan to announce that she has an awesome voice (in her usual, blunt way). No one really believes her (it was her mom who told her she was good) so they set up a little surprise. Except, halfway through the song (that Brennan is enjoying so much that it’s almost cringeworthy) the stalker shows up and shoots Booth. So Brennan, you know, grabs Booth’s gun and shoots the stalker through the throat. “Girls Just Want to Have Excellent Marksman Skills”?

I apologize for the crappiness of the clips but what can you do?

3. The Cosby Show– Happy Anniversary performance

If there’s any video representation of what my family has tried to be like over the years it’s this. (It hasn’t happened yet but we keep trying). It’s all so great. The moves, Theo’s descent down the stairs, little Rudy, Phylicia Rashad cracking up… Classic.

You really need to watch it again. Come on, it’s so good. Skip to 4:05 for the good stuff.

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer– Once More With Feeling

Joss Whedon loves musicals too. (Just ask Dr. Horrible) I don’t know what it is about this all-musical episode of Buffy but people reeeeally love it. Like have parties and sing-along love it. THEY DO LIVE PERFORMANCES (see below). The premise is made to tie in with a demon, of course, one that turns little sister Dawn’s world into a musical extravaganza leading to such numbers as “Something to Sing About” and “Where Do We Go From Here.” The singing is awkward but well-meaning but really, before this no show tried to capture what’s so great about musicals- that singing your feelings is a very pretty way of, you know, singing your feelings.

1. The Brady Bunch– The kids sing “Sunshine Day” and dance their way into the Camp Hall of Fame

As usual, the reason for the Brady kids singing on the Pete Sterne Amateur Hour is all Jan’s fault. I forget why but the PLOT of this classic episode is hardly the point. No, the point is awkward singing, the most cheerful song in the history of mankind (it’s really more like a sitcom jingle than a song but I digress), the choreography and what this would all lead to… the genius, short-lived program known as The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (which Jan refused to be a part of, thus ruining that too. Thanks a lot, Jan) Don’t you dig the sunshine? Don’t you hear it calling your name?

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buffy-the-vampire-slayer_l

Show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)

Character: Buffy Summers

Played By: Sarah Michelle Gellar

In a Nutshell: Lord, I’m taking a gargantuan task on here but I realized recently that a lot of our Character Spotlights feature the fun supporting players of our favorite shows. Unfortunately, I forgot that by picking the title character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I was going to have to summarize an entire Whedon-mythology here (there’s a whole section in Wikipedia called “Cultural Impact” for God’s sake). Ok, nerd glasses off. I’m going to make this as basic as humanly possible.

Buffy Summers moves with her single mother to Sunnydale. She’s a former cheerleader, her parents are recently divorced and, um, she kind of burned down her old high school so right off the bat, her new principal thinks she’s trouble. Coupled with the fact that she’s inherited the title of Vampire Slayer (which she’ll hold until she dies and another girl takes her place) and that Sunnydale, CA is actually known as the Hellmouth aka Where Evil Things Live, she’s kind of got a lot on her plate. Luckily, she has her loyal friends (Xander, Willow, Oz and Cordelia), a hot vampire boyfriend (Angel- if Buffy aired now, during the Twilight hubbub, it would be massively more popular than it was when it premiered on the WB in 1997), a wise British watcher/guardian (Giles) and lots of baddies to play with. The show provides us with insight into Buffy’s high school and college years over the course of which she dies (not once but twice), kills her boyfriend, runs away and becomes a waitress named Anne, goes to hell (several times I think), goes to college, starts dating a military vampire slayer and then another vampire, loses her mother and does battle with vamps, monsters, mad scientists, demons, giant snakes and lots of other gross things that pop up.

Why We Love Buffy: She’s funny, she’s tough, loyal and vulnerable- she basically struggles with what every teenager struggles with- how do you stay true to yourself and find happiness, when the world, your friends and your family are trying to tell you who you are. We get to watch her turn into a hero (noble, self-sacrificing, brave), which is pretty cool and not bad for a story based on a movie starring Luke Perry.

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by Judi

Oh, the CROSSOVER. Jack Doneghy, I’m sure, loves the concept of the TV crossover being such a fan of things like “synergy” and “product integration”, “pro-menz” (that’s “positive mention” to you, little buddy) and “making lots of money.” After all, what better way to get your TV loving public to excitedly clap their hands and buy even more bags of Baked Lays than an episode of their favorite TV show starring people from their OTHER favorite TV shows. FUN FOR ALL, I dare say.

5. Dana from Step By Step helps Corey on Boy Meets World via dolphin in “The Happiest Show on Earth” (1996)

TGIF loved and I mean loved the crossover episodes. There was Urkel on Full House, Salem the cat from Sabrina running through all of the TGIF programs wreaking havoc on the sitcom space-time-continuum, and my favorite- Dana from Step by Step on Boy Meets World. True, she’s on for one scene and doesn’t say much but what she does say is enough to convince Corey that he’s still in love with Topanga. And she does this all through dolphins. Next to a dolphin tank. By telling him a story about dolphins. While they pet and feed dolphins. Dana sure is convincing. I hope she went into sales and is now so rich, she can by and sell JT. (And yes, I also hope she’s married to Cody. Shut up.)

4. Frasier Crane ruins Helen’s life again on Wings in “Planes, Trains and Visiting Cranes” (1992)

There were actually two Cheers and Wings overlaps, the other one being Cliff and Norm visiting Nantucket to go on a fishing trip but then they just go to the Sidecar and drink for two days. On “Planes, Trains and Visiting Cranes”, Cheers regulars Dr. Frasier Crane and his wife Lilith appear to do a seminar that Frasier’s devised about enriching your life (called amusingly The Crane Train to Mental Well-Being). The only problem is that Helen Chapel, recently back from a disastrous stint in New York City where she tried to become a cellist and ended up as a waitress as a strip club, took that same seminar in New York and blames it and Crane for all of her problems since then. The episode ends in a typical sitcommy way with all the Wings characters screaming at each other at the seminar and one of Frasier’s signature raspy “You people!” rants that we all so love. I enjoyed this episode so much when I caught the repeat last year, mostly because it reminded me of my sincere love for Lilith and her deadpan delivery.

3. George and Noah and Monica and Rachel on Friends in “The One With Two Parts” (1995)

It’s funny. I just realized a pattern here- the shows that used the crossover once more often than not used it several times. Friends is a solid example. We all remember (naturally- why would you be here if this were all new information?) that Mad About You‘s ditsy waitress Ursula is Phoebe Buffay’s twin sister, forcing a confused M.A.Y. Jamie and her friend Fran to mistakenly come to Central Perk and hassle Phoebe about getting them coffee.

Ok, so technically I’m cheating here. George and Noah weren’t playing their ER counterparts but really, come on. It’s a great episode, they’re CLEARLY playing off their ER characters and it includes one of my most favorite, rarely used sitcom gimmicks ever- Monica and Rachel have swapped identities because Rachel has sprained her ankle and lacks insurance so the cute doctors think each is the other. And then they get into a fight. (How did they pick who got George, btw? I mean, I love me some Librarian and all but being the one who gets George is cause enough for a fight to the death itself)

2. Lara Flynn Boyle tells Ally McBeal to eat a cookie in “Making Spirits Bright” (1998)

Usually, crossover happen because of a shared network but they tend to happen more frequently when they also share a creator. And no, I don’t mean the sweet baby Jesus. I mean David E. Kelley. Ok, to some of you, that IS the sweet baby Jesus, but around here he’s the guy who just really likes quirky urban lawyers and piano bars.

This nifty little cameo featuring Lara Flynn Boyle as her Practice attorney Helen Gamble sizing up bobble-headed Ally McBeal was inevitable, considering the media broohaha at the time regarding the fact that both actresses were in desperate need of a few trips to Arby’s and the aforementioned bags of Baked Lays. Oh yeah, and that whole thing about Ally’s skirts being too short. All wrapped up neatly in a thirty-second shot that really makes me want to get a cookie of my own.

1. Buffy drops in on Angel in “I Will Remember You” (1999)

It was a natural enough occurrence that the regulars on Joss Whedon’s Buffy would make an appearance on spin-off Angel. Angel would, after all, be nothing more than a glimmer in his big daddy’s eye if it weren’t for our favorite pint-sized slayer. In this episode, Buffy shows up for a reason I can’t remember off the top of my head and almost immediately helps Angel slay a big baddie, whose green slime accidentally turns Angel human.

The former couple agree that they won’t let this affect them, this sudden turn of events that they’ve both been wishing for since they met when Buffy was sixteen and Angel a spry 300 years old.  That naturally lasts about ten minutes and they end up going at it on Angel’s kitchen table. The ensuing scenes are pretty much everything we, the loyal Buffy audience (at least, those of us with girlie parts) have ever wanted- Angel discovering the joys of peanut butter and chocolate TOGETHER, ice cream, sunlight and being able to be with Buffy without turning into, you know, a total, murderous monster who likes killing her friends. Sadly, it doesn’t last. He’s a weak human now and can’t protect himself or her (not that she needs it but I guess after 300+ years, a sudden identity crisis would be pretty hard to overcome) so he goes to the Powers That Be and asks to be made vampire again. They agree to turn back the clocks, with the worst after-effect being that Buffy won’t remember their time together at all. And sure enough, even though she tearfully promises to remember everything, she doesn’t and soon stalks off the show back to Sunnydale.

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by Judi

5. Will (Bradley Cooper) as Sydney Bristow’s best friend on Alias

Picture 4Granted, I just finished watching all five seasons of Alias so likely Bradley Cooper’s face is fresh in mind. But still, as best friend choices go, his is a remarkable one- basically because if the mark of a best friend is staying power through the tough times, then Will deserves a friggin’ medal. It’s bad enough your best friend from college is a super bad-ass spy and never told you about it. But then she starts getting you almost killed, tortured to nearly the point of death, scared to death and then her involvement with you kills her other best friend/your girlfriend. Then she “dies” and you get shipped off to witness protection. Except she’s not dead. And even though you’re now forced to live in Wisconsin and work in construction, she still shows up every once in a while to almost get you killed. Again.

In Bradley Cooper’s final appear as Will in the last season of Alias, Sydney makes a big speech about apologizing for ruining his life. Again. Sadly, everyone in Syd’s life has turned out to be worse with her in it- which really, really sucks when you repeatedly sacrifice your own life to, you know, save the fucking world. Will, being the true blue friend that no one is saint-like enough to deserve, tells her that she’s only made his life better, more exciting, and that his love for her has made it all worth it.

4. Shawn (Rider Strong) as Corey’s best friend on Boy Meets World

rs4(Note- Boy Meets World is to me what Full House is to Beal. I won’t apologize for it or withdraw my plea to the network powers that be to put the show back into syndication already). So here’s what I love about Shawn- 1) He’s super white trash- trailer (check). Deadbeat Mom AND Dad (check). Half brother he didn’t know about played by a Lawrence brother (check). Likes flannel (check). 2) The only reason he’s friends with geeky Cory Matthews is because they’ve been friends since the first grade – a point acutely touched on in an early episode when the boys enter the 7th grade and Cory suddenly realizes that Shawn is cool and he’s not. But Shawn sticks with him anyway. He could care less about being cool, which of course makes me even more cool and I would stop using the word “cool” but we’re talking about Boy Meets World here, as well as the better part of the 1990s. So suck it. 3) We get a good level of angst for a sitcom BF (Shawn blows up a mailbox! Shawn gets drunk! Shawn joins a fucking CULT! Shawn’s parents leave him and he has to live with his teacher! Shawn’s dad dies! Shawn hates living in a trailer!) that provides those touching sitcom moments that I could eat up with a SPOON.

3. Rayanne (AJ Langer) as Angela’s best friend on My So-Called Life

Picture 3If you’re going to have a full on teenaged identity crisis, you need a friend like Rayanne- it’s practically in the Angst Handbook, as well it should be.

I think we all know where this friendship would’ve eventually headed had the show not been brutally murdered. After all, despite the fact that she’s a high school party girl dream, Rayanne is slightly unhinged- you just know she would’ve been “that friend” for Angela- that friend in school who used to be your  BFF before her problems sprung out of your control and then she wrote those kind of crazy letters to you and you suddenly realized she was completely bonkers and had to, for the rest of your life, refer to her as “that friend.”

Until that all goes down, however, you have the ultimate catalyst for prime teenage drama. Exactly what a girl like Angela Chase needs to realize her full potential. Exactly what a prime time soap needs to get in its patented overdose storyline.

2. Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendan) as Buffy / Willow’s best friend on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Picture 2

Xander Harris was so instrumental to my idea of what a male best friend should be that when my friend Vic and I moved to LA, we posted an ad on Craigslist with the title “Looking for a Xander,” explaining that what we really needed was a guy who was always there with a shoulder to lean on, quippy jokes, a slightly wimpy demeanor and, oh yes, looked surprisingly hot in a speedo. (What we got was a slightly crazy alcoholic with a boxer- aw, I miss Pablo.)

It was established through the show’s long tenure that while Xander was pretty much the most “useless” one (Willow becoming a powerful witch, along with her girlfriend Tara, werewolf Oz, vampire Angel etc etc), he was also the “heart” of the group. It’s Xander, after all, who’s able to snap Buffy back when she starts acting like a bitch because she accidentally died at the end of the semester and now has a major ‘tude about it. It’s Xander who’s able to stop Willow when she goes psycho witch crazy after evil-doers kill quiet Tara. And it’s Xander who ends up losing an eye in the battle of good versus evil. All key best friend attributes. Hmmm. Maybe I should’ve put all that stuff in the ad.

1. Turk (Donald Faison) as J.D’s best friend on Scrubs

Picture 1 The first TV couple to demonstrate the powerful force of straight man-love, Turk is, let’s face it, pretty much the love of John Dorian’s life. They met in college, went to med school together and lived together for an eternity until Turk man-upped, got married and JD moved out. How close are Turk and JD? Everyone in the hospital, including Turk’s wife, thinks that the boys are super gay for each other- which they are- and the greatest step the show took was to admit that and then have JD and Turk decide that they didn’t care. So, yeah, the guys are close. So close that JD showed up during Turk and Carla’s honeymoon (Turk sneaking off for some buddy time instead of sex with his wife- super gay for each other indeed).

So close that in (what should’ve been) the series finale of the show, JD and Carla have a touching moment where he thanks her for guiding him all these years. And when he asks if there’s anything he can do for her in return, they have the following exchange:

Carla: Tell me my husband loves me more than you.

JD (considering it seriously): It’s about the same.

Carla: I’ll take it.

And yes. We’re totally ending on a sappy note. Whatever, you know you love it too.


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